Twills and Parallel Twills – A virtual presentation by Robyn Spady
18 guild members participated
This workshop began with an overview of twills so that all weavers present – beginners, intermediate,
and advanced – would be on the same page as the presentation proceeded to the more complex subject
of parallel twills.
Basic twill information included a review of:
Difference between plain weave, twills, and satin weave structures;
Straight, point, extended point, and broken twill;
Balanced and unbalanced twills, advancing twills;
Defined by diagonal lines which can lean left, right, or a combination; and
Requirement of three shafts for twills.
A short break was taken, then the presentation continued with Parallel Twills, Echo Weave, and
Robyn explained that these techniques begin with a single threading that is then integrated with
another threading. Other terms that refer to this process are “double drafting”, “parallel” threading,
“manifold” drafting, and “interleaved” threading. Apparently, weavers have many words for the same
These techniques require a close sett and threading can be cumbersome. The advantage is that only one
shuttle is needed for weaving a complex-looking textile. This is especially true when a color sequence is
added, which is usually the case. A short overview of using the color wheel to choose colors for this
technique. Robyn used Fiberworks to show drafts, color changes, tie-ups, and treadling.
A 24-page handout was sent to all participants after the informative presentation.
Columbia Fibre Guild – Judith MacKenzie Lecture
When early man learned to make thread, it allow him to move out of the cave. The cave as the best protection from the elements before that time. When threads were combined they were strong enough to make rope and nets. The nets made fishing possible and the rope slashed leaves and branches together to make shelters away from caves. Spun fibers and weaving made sails possible.
Fibers to not survive when buried, but the tools to make the fibers do. Spindles, whorls, stones with holes in them for spinning, are found over the world. They are all alike. The principle is basic and each culture developed their own, but all are indistinguishable from one another.
The northwest coast has no dye culture for fibers. It has no clay soils to make pots necessary to use dyes.
Dogs were bred for their fiber. The early ones were called “wool dogs. Vegetable fibers were first used for spinning: milkweed, bear grass, all long fiber grasses and celery. Animal fibers, came later. Pliny the elder listed 2,500 types of fiber, but only four will go on being used in the future, because they are so good: two vegetable – cotton and flax; and two animal: wool and silk.
Leg spinning was used before tools were developed.
Notes by Linda Frizzell – Columbia Fibre Guild
Rogue Valley Handweavers Guild – Rep Weave Workshop
Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild – Split Shed Workshop
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019 HUMBUG GUILD SPLIT SHED WORKSHOP FEB 16, 2019
By Carol Hacherl
The Humbug Guild enjoyed a workshop on Saturday on Feb 16 with weaving instructor Deborah Silver, who travelled to teach us from Cleveland, Ohio.
Deborah taught us her split-shed technique. Deborah works with only 4 shafts, yet her approach allows a weaver to create fairly complex image on a woven piece. To do this, pattern sheds are split (i.e. some shafts are raised only halfway, creating two mini-sheds). Weavers use a not-too-heavily loaded stick shuttle as they selectively “pick up” warp threads on each pattern weft shot, following a cartoon to “paint” the design.
Deborah has done an extensive investigation of split-shed weaving, and has figured out how to use the technique with a wide variety of weave structures. She shared her weaving journey through photos and a selection of lovely hands-on samples of her work. Deborah will be pulling this together into a book on her technique. (I can’t wait!)
For our workshop, we used a weave technique called “Beiderwand” – Deborah described the structure as “similar to summer and winter, but with 5-end floats instead of 3-end.” Deborah provided line drawings and guided us through creating and attaching a cartoon to each of our looms. (That in itself is a great new skill to have!)
To weave, we followed Deborah’s treadling / shaft lifting plan. On pattern (split) sheds, we used shuttles of thick rug weft in two colors. We followed our cartoons to “pick up” warp threads, choosing between the upper and lower halves of the split shed per the design. We alternated pattern sheds with plain weave (tabby) sheds, and the tabby weft formed the background for our designs.
Deborah also showed us how to weave a design in Bronson lace using the same threading. For Bronson, we wove with weft yarn that matched our warp and a used different treadling sequence. This time, threads picked up from the split shed wove Bronson lace in the pattern areas, while plain weave was woven in the background – a nice design for a window hanging.
Deborah was a delightful instructor! She was warm and engaging. She was highly knowledgeable about her material, her explanations were very clear, and her handouts were thorough. (I appreciate how the handout makes it easy to reflect on and retain what we learned in that busy day.) The workshop had plenty of content to challenge experienced weavers, and yet less experienced weavers were able to participate and gain skills as well.
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019
Rogue Valley Handweavers Guild – Doubleweave Wall Hangings with Wood
Beginning Weaving Workshop – Threadbenders Guild